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AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Under 30 and didn't go directly to college or go at all after high school?

Asked by AlfredaPrufrock (9394points) November 22nd, 2008

This is a question that was generated by another fluther discussion. I’m curious about the employment paths of young adults who didn’t go right from high school to a 4 year university setting. What sort of guidance or direction did you get from your high school, parents, etc. What types of jobs did you get right out of high school? Are you doing the same thing now? Are you happy with your current employment situation?

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19 Answers

basp's avatar

Perhaps you are looking for a younger respondant, but when I graduated from high school in 1971 I did not go to college (much to the dismay of my parents). The economy was different back then and I was able to pick up most any job I applied for. Waitress, factory, retail sales, office help. Also, at that time, one could live on minimum wage.
Without a college degree I worked my way up in a reasturant chain and eventually bought my own business and expanded it to two stores and catering on the side.
Then my life changed drastically and I embarked on getting a college degree twenty years after I graduated. I really believe I got more out of myceducation going as an adult than I would have had I gone at a younger age. Since I have gotten my degree my career path has been more ‘white collar’.

jrpowell's avatar

After high school I got a job at a movie theater. I worked there for three years. And then I bounced around doing freelance computer stuff, janitor, making power supplies for the international space station, working in whorehouses, a photo lab, and doing manual labor. Then at 24 I started receiving financial aid and went to school full time. At 24 you don’t need to put down your parents info. The government pretty much paid for everything.

I didn’t get guidance from anyone. My father died when I was ten and I received social security through high school. My mom wasn’t around and I moved in with my sister when I was fifteen. I got a place with some friends at the beginning of my senior year of high school.

I just floated around and got checks from SSI until I was was 19 and 2 months old. Then the checks stopped and reality kicked my ass. Luckily a few of my roommates worked at the same theater and got me hired. (It was actually a hard job to get, you had to know someone or transfer in)

I’m glad I waited to go to school. I got the partying out of my system before I had to worry about writing papers and finals. And I knew what it was like to have shitty jobs.

poofandmook's avatar

I wanted to go to college, but my dad and I lived with my grandmother to help her out, and when my grandfather died, she couldn’t afford to keep the house, but did anyway for 2 1/2 years until I graduated. So basically, I had to move out on my own and get a job as soon as high school was over. I worked at a courier service for three years and was assistant office manager by the time I left. I had a short stint in retail for the Christmas season after I left there (long story). Then I was a unit secretary for the psych intensive care unit at a hospital… was making $15 an hour by the time I left. Did that for 2 1/2 years, and now I work for LabCorp. Pay cut, but I’m happy. I’m a dispatcher, and I could easily do this long term. I love it… the people, the drivers… they’re all great. Of course, that can all change and then I’d hate the job, but for now it’s good. I would like to get my teaching degree though.

wildflower's avatar

Let’s see:
– Finished 10th grade
– Moved country and did basic year vocational course
– Moved back home and worked various jobs for 2 years (shop assistant, events coordinator, bartender, cleaner)
– Moved country again and went to business college for 3 years (higher 2nd level edu.)
– Worked for 1 year (shop assistant, cleaner, waitress)
– Started college – for 3 months
– Moved country again and started as a customer relations agent in a call center
.....9 years later I manage a team of senior product specialists and doing a h.dip. college course in the evenings
I don’t really credit parents or guidance counsellors for any of the above choices – they were all mine and I’m pretty happy with my current situation and prospects. I’m no longer under 30, but got a good few years before retirement ;)

jholler's avatar

I did go directly to college, but apparently translating a HS 3.3gpa and 31 ACT score into a 0.5 college gpa isn’t impressive enough to maintain an academic scholarship…so I worked a few jobs, then joined the Marine Corps. That was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned self-discipline, integrity, and found a sense of direction. I spent 4 years active duty, and have been a National Guardsman for the last 12 years. I am also a career firefighter. I often joke that I’m the only member of my immediate family without a degree, but the only one with a career that has retirement…and I have 2.

tinyfaery's avatar

After high school I went to Canada. When I came back I got a job as a cocktail waitress. After four years of hanging out and having fun, I decided to go to college. I had no idea what I wanted to study. I started with English as a major, but quickly changed to Philosophy. Then one day I had the idea I wanted to go to UCLA, so I did. There I changed my major again, to Women’s Studies, where I was able to get a liberal arts education, focusing on theory and philosophy of course. I never considered what I’d do once I graduated, but I took the GRE and got into a Women’s Studies grad program. After that, I was done with school. I wanted real life. I went to work as a counselor. After 4 years of that I got seriously burned-out, and now I work in a law office.

My parent’s were always hands-off. But I don’t think that had much to do with my lack of career stability. I don’t live my life thinking about what kind of work I want to do, I think about the kind of person I want to be. I’m in my mid 30s now. A lot of people might think I’m lost, but I say, how can I be lost when I am not seeking a destination?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Thank you all for posting; this makes fascinating reading. Everyone has such interesting lives.

augustlan's avatar

Wait. JohnPowell worked in whorehouses?

tinyfaery's avatar

I totally missed that. Must hear stories.

galileogirl's avatar

Coming up on the end of my career, I didn’t go to college until after turning 30 and I definitely am not doing the same thing all those years later. The day after my 18th birthday I went into the city and got a job in an insurance company. I worked at clerical jobs until I was divorced at 30 and found the lack of a degree was holding me back. At that point earning about twice minimum wage and being a single mother was not going to cut it.

I went to college because I never wanted to relive those couple of years when I was out of money 2 days before payday and I had to feed my daugter oatmeal for dinner. Nothing can age you faster than always having to worry about having money and knowing another human being is totally dependent on you.

jrpowell's avatar

I was trusting my spell checker too much. I typed wharehouse and the spell check suggested whorehouse. It should have been warehouse.

I worked in a warehouse moving auto parts all day. I have never worked in a whorehouse, but I wouldn’t object to it.

augustlan's avatar

The funniest part? I wasn’t totally shocked to think you had worked in a whorehouse!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

My thoughts exactly, augustlan!

tinyfaery's avatar

Damn. I wanted stories.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Employment related to “international space station”, “whorehouse” and “photo lab”, makes for an interesting cocktail party conversation.

Jammond's avatar

This was crazy interesting. I came here looking for what people were doing with horrible roommates and got absorbed.

P.S Kind of been lurking for awhile now, glad to finally post

augustlan's avatar

@Jammond: Welcome!

Nimis's avatar

[shouts to rest of collective]
We’ve wrangled another one!

I mean…erm, Welcome to Fluther!

Jammond's avatar

lol. Why did I just now see this?

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